How To Protect Your Eyes During A Solar Eclipse

Are you going to watch the eclipse?

On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will be taking place and Lincoln, NE is in the path of totality. If you visit our optometry office, you’ll be able to view it right from our front lawn! For a lot of Solar eclipse lincoln nepeople, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to view a total solar eclipse. The moon will pass in front of the sun around 1 PM. The total eclipse will last about 1 minute and 24 seconds in Lincoln, NE. With this exciting event, it’s important to remember to keep your eyes safe. It is never safe to look at the sun directly, even with sunglasses. However, with the total solar eclipse there can be a minor exception. There are two ways to view the eclipse safely; with solar eclipse viewers or a pinhole projector.

Solar Eclipse Glasses

Special approved solar eclipse viewers are one safe way to view the eclipse before the moon has completely covered the sun. It is important that the viewer or glasses meet the international standard ISO 12312-2, so you can safely view the sun. These solar eclipse glasses are 100,000 times darker than even your darkest sunglasses. Put the glasses on before you look at the sun and turn away from the sun before removing them. Once the moon has completely covered the sun, it is safe to remove the glasses. However, the totality phase will not last more than 1 minute and 24 seconds, so keep the glasses nearby as you will need them again.  

Pinhole Projector

The second way to observe the total solar eclipse, although indirectly, is by creating a pinhole projector. This is a simple but fun project that you will want to prepare prior to the total eclipse. You should be able to complete this project with items you have at your home, as it only requires paper, tin foil, tape and a pin. Follow this link for instructions: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/project/how-to-make-a-pinhole-camera/   Risks  Do not watch the eclipse through your phone’s screen as you may accidentally look at the sun directly. Do not use any other camera or telescope to view the eclipse, as this could also cause damage to your eye. Also, as mentioned earlier, your regular sunglasses are not suitable to view the eclipse. Viewing the sun without using solar eclipse viewers or a pinhole projector can cause serious damage to your eyes, that could be permanent. Have you ever used a lens or magnifying glass to concentrate the sunlight and start a fire? This is essentially what could happen if you stare at the sun without protection. Except, instead of lighting a leaf or an ant on fire, it is damaging your retina. Solar retinopathy is painless, and you will likely not experience symptoms until hours or even days after the event. If you experience any vision loss, visual distortions, or color vision changes please call us right away for an exam. How To Protect Your Eyes During A Solar Eclipse